Understanding the recurring patterns of occupants’ energy-use behaviors at entry and departure events in office buildings

Hamed Nabizadeh Rafsanjani, Changbum Ryan Ahn, Kent M. Eskridge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Office-building occupants’ behaviors during their arrivals and departures foreseeably have a large impact on a building's energy consumption since many occupants in control of appliances will turn their devices on or off at these entry and departure events. Consequently, occupants would have various types of energy-use patterns that coincide with their entry and departure events and that repeat over time. Despite the value that knowledge of such patterns would have on better tracking energy-use behaviors, these patterns have not been well explored with empirical data in the literature. Therefore, this paper studies occupants’ energy-use behaviors in office buildings to identify and investigate energy-use patterns at entry and departure events. In particular, this research evaluates (1) the delay intervals that manifest between the occupants’ entry/departure events and the beginning/end of the occupants’ energy-consuming behaviors, and (2) changes in electricity consumption caused by occupants at entry/departure events to identify recurring—and thereby predictable—energy-use patterns associated with individual occupants. In the pursuit of this objective, the energy-use behaviors of 12 occupants in two office buildings were tracked during a four-month period. Results from statistical analyses performed on the collected data reveal that an occupant in an office building typically follows a consistent, recurring delay-interval pattern. In addition, the results show each occupant also follows a recurring pattern of power changes at entry/departure events. By identifying recurring, occupant-specific energy-use behavior patterns, this study significantly contributes to the current body of research and can be used to support research efforts into energy-load disaggregation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)77-87
Number of pages11
JournalBuilding and Environment
StatePublished - May 15 2018


  • Energy-use patterns
  • Entry and departure events
  • Load disaggregation
  • Occupant behavior
  • Office building
  • Personalized energy feedback

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Building and Construction


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